Design Portfolio: Clear As Crystal

<< Back to Robb Report, Robb Report July 2015

Clarity of purpose resounds in the latest limited edition from Lalique and Parmigiani Fleurier.

René Lalique, the founder of the renowned crystal house, may owe an indirect debt to the world of horology for the brand’s successful aesthetic. After all, Coutard Fountain — a 1935 work featuring a desk clock encircled by crystal renderings of naiads—established many of the design principles that have informed Lalique’s creations ever since. 

This year, the firm pays tribute to this historic piece by offering a modern interpretation produced in partnership with the boutique watch manufacturer Parmigiani Fleurier (parmigiani.ch). One of a very limited series of collaborations between the two companies, Toric Lépine (far left, $1.2 million) reflects René Lalique’s abiding fascination with mythological and aquatic motifs, both of which appear on the design’s crystal base and removable Parmigiani minute-repeating pocket watch. The dial of the coverless timepiece, for example, is machined with a pattern resembling concentric waves—as though a stone had been cast in a pool—and covered with blue-gray champ­levé enamel highlighted with mother-of-pearl cabochons. Two medallions of Lalique crystal decorate the back of the platinum case, which also is ornamented with diamonds and, like the crystal base, engraved naiads. Equipped with cathedral gongs and a silent regulation system, Parmigiani’s finest minute-repeating movement produces a sound as pure and clear as the timepiece’s crystalline surround.  

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